Dunsmuir Elementary celebrates preschool graduates moving on to kindergarten

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

It may have been a few months late, but parents of Dunsmuir’s youngest graduates were able to celebrate their transition from preschool to kindergarten this week.

New Dunsmuir Elementary School kindergartener Emme O’Connor crosses the bridge from Preschool to grammar school during her back to school parent conference.

“This movement into grammar school has always been a peak experience for preschoolers and their families,” said Dunsmuir Elementary School principal/superintendent Susan Keeler. 

Preschool teacher Heather O’Connor and DES kindergarten teacher Tammera Ridge honored each graduate individually before their parent/teacher conference to kick off the school year. 

DES started the year with all distance learning. As students met with their teachers to prepare for the challenge, preschoolers had  the chance to “graduate” in front of their families. O'Connor shared her memories of preschool with families, sang a going away song, shared her thoughts about the exceptional attributes each student would bring to kindergarten, then released each preschooler to cross the literal bridge to meet Ridge, Keeler explained.

“The ceremony was different than usual, but no less rewarding for preschoolers who had developed the skills necessary to become successful kindergarten students.”

Although unconventional, Dunsmuir Elementary School preschool graduates were honored for graduating to kindergarten during their individual parent/teacher conferences this week

Keeler said the parents cried tears of joy and – even with masks on – there were smiles from everyone involved.

“This just goes to show that, in spite of the difficulties we are all experiencing, memories can still be made that we can hold onto when times get hard,” Keeler said. “Our spirits are strong, and we are raising a strong group of young learners.

The graduating students include:

AJ Arrington

Mya Bartoo

Emme O’Connor

Noah Ridge

Dezirae Zavala

Jade Seivers